If you’re walking on the southeast side of Bedwell Bayfront Park you may be confused by the farming activity happening down by the salt ponds. Save The Bay’s Habitat Restoration Team is working with contractors to use farming techniques to restore habitat!
After a long waiting period due to construction and the pandemic, our team is starting to vegetate the horizontal levee project this fall and through the winter.
Volunteers that have met us on the shoreline in the past are probably familiar with our ongoing restoration projects on the Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline or in the Palo Alto Baylands. We work in these sites in partnership with Palo Alto Baylands Park Rangers and the East Bay Regional Parks District who have given us space to grow native plants in our nurseries. Each plant has its own pot and all individuals are spread throughout the site.
The Ravenswood R4 Pond horizontal levee project is different both in size and restoration technique. We are growing native plants for 9.6 acres of gradually sloping levee, and so our strategies change. Our farming partners till the levee with a disc harrow and help us spread rhizomes of native grasses throughout the site. Rhizomes are modified stems that grow underground, allowing our native plants to spread out and establish in the site. Partner organizations at Ravenswood include the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, Ducks Unlimited, the State Coastal Conservancy, the USFWS, the West Bay Sanitary District and the City of Menlo Park.
Our Creeping Wild Rye and Salt Grass have been growing and developing strong rhizomes for over a year, and they are now ready to move out of their raised beds and into the field.
The Habitat Restoration Team is currently pruning the above ground material off of these species and many more, and will soon be planting them throughout the levee.
Our team has also been cleaning over 200 pounds of native seeds that will be mixed together and spread along the levee as well.
Keep your fingers crossed for lots of rain this winter and we hope to see you on the shoreline as soon as it’s safe to do so!
This Bay Story was originally published in By The Bay quarterly newsletter. To receive future emails from Save The Bay, subscribe to our list here.